Roshani Devi, wife of Ram Niwas and resident of Haryana's Rohtak district, pleaded before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission that doctors at St Stephen's Hospital in north Delhi were negligent in discharging her husband, leading to his death within 13 days in 1996.

National commission Presiding Member Vineeta Rai and Member Vinay Kumar rejected the hospital's denial of any negligence and enhanced the compensation awarded by the state consumer commission from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh.

"The order of the state commission is modified and the compensation of Rs 5 lakh is enhanced to Rs 8 lakh," the national commission said in a recent order.

The hospital has time till Oct 31 for paying Rs 8 lakh to Roshani Devi and a delay in doing so would invite an interest of nine percent per annum, said Rai.

"Keeping in view the gross medical negligence on the part of the hospital in the treatment of the patient which was substantially responsible for his death at the age of 32 years, the medical expenses incurred by Roshani Devi, the invaluable loss both financial and emotional of a spouse and father caused to her minor children...we are, therefore, of the view that a lump sum compensation of Rs 8 lakh is justified," said the commission.


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